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Lord Carey’s challenge on youth work

20 December 2013


From Mr Peter White
Sir, - The Revd Dr David Goodhew may be right to challenge "doomsaying" in the Church (Comment, 6 December) but he has missed the point of Lord Carey's message: that we need to be investing in young people as an urgent task.

Sadly, the Church seems to make a habit of overlooking the needs of young people, as demonstrated by your report of the decision by Chichester diocese to axe its youth and children's-work team (News, same issue). Unless we are growing the next generations, the doomsayers will be proved right.

There are, of course, signs of growth in this age group. The "signs of resurrection" and empirical evidence point to the effectiveness of full-time youth and children's workers, the benefits of professional training and support networks for volunteers, and the fact that the fastest-growing churches are those that actively invest in young people. The team at Chichester diocese is such a sign, developing and supporting effective youth work and growing young leaders for the Church of today and tomorrow.

It is a tragedy that, when young people have been hit hardest by the recent recession, services to young people are the easiest to cut, and such cuts often go unnoticed. This is a time for us to stand with and for young people, and for the Church to step in to fill some of the gaps and reclaim its place as provider of services to young people in need. It is not the time to be cutting our own work.

Lord Carey is, therefore, right: we need to invest in young people, but not just because the future of our Church is under threat, but because young people deserve better, and they need the good news of faith, hope, and love more than ever.

Peterborough Diocesan Youth Officer (Interns)
Bouverie Court, 6 The Lakes
Bedford Road
Northampton NN4 7YD

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